Ages: 5+


Watery fun is the theme at this seaside soiree, whether you have access to a pool or not. You'll make some waves with clever fishing-themed games and decorations.

Fish Invite

Use scraps of paper and yarn to craft invites like this friendly fish card.

What you need:

  • Fish template
  • Fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Blue card stock
  • Glue stick
  • Craft glue
  • Yarn in colors that coordinate with the fabric
  • Felt
  • Ink pad
  • Alphabet stamps
  • Opaque white pen

To make:

Trace fish template onto fabric, cut out, and adhere to card stock using glue stick. Trace around the fish outline with craft glue. Cover glue outline with yarn. Cut small felt circles for eyes, and glue to fish. Stamp text under fish, and cut wave shape at top of card with scissors. Write party details on back of card. Mail in standard-size envelope. Ask the post office to hand-cancel.

Craft supply sources:

Yarn from Coats and Clark; call 800-648-1479 for stores. Felt from Kunin; call 800-292-7900. All Night Media Large Primary Alphabet stamp ($15 per set), from Plaid; call 800-842-4197 for information.


Decorations, Activities & Goody Bags

What you need:

  • Thin bamboo reed (available at garden- or flower-supply stores)
  • Ribbon
  • Craft glue
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Blunt S hook (available at hardware stores)

To make:

Wrap ribbon in alternating colors around bamboo reed, gluing ends to secure. Cut piece of yarn approximately three feet in length; attach one end to the pole and the other end to S hook.

Craft supply sources:

Yarn from Coats and Clark; call 800-648-1479 for stores.

Go-Fish Buckets

Every guest comes up a winner when they cast a line for our treat-filled party cups. Continue the underwater theme with chains of paper fish.

What you need:

  • Con-Tact paper in various colors
  • Con-Tact paper in various colors
  • Stencils
  • Scissors
  • Chenille stems
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Crinkle paper

To make:

Trace Stencils of fish and plants onto back of Con-Tact paper. Cut out shapes and adhere to paper cups as desired. To make handles, punch hole in each side of cup. Loop chenille stem through holes, securing ends by folding chenille stem up and twisting onto itself. Wrap ribbon around chenille stem to cover, leaving ends loose. Tie ends to handle with a small piece of ribbon. Trim as needed. Fill with crinkle paper.

Craft-supply sources:

Con-Tact paper from Decora; call 440-353-6410 for information.

Reader's Tip: Under The Sea

"Turn your living room into an ocean and invite your guests to dress as sea creatures. Decorations are simple: Attach green netting with intertwined seashore objects (pails, sea horses, shells, and plastic shellfish) to the ceiling. The kids can decorate sea creature cut-outs with glitter and paint, and food is a snap with spinach spaghetti posing as seaweed and blue Jell-O as the ocean!" --Jill

Go Fish

Decorate a blue tablecloth with little plastic fish and construction paper fish. Each cup can have a straw that doubles as a fishing pole, with fishing wire and a lure on it.

Beach Bonanza

Cover the table with brown paper to look like sand and top with some seashells. You can even create a sand castle centerpiece out of cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls.

Catch It All Goody Bags

A pail with a twig fishing pole made from stick or string, gummy worms and a few chocolate fish can all be wrapped together in cellophane, tissue paper, or wax paper and tied with a ribbon.


Big Fish Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) yellow-cake mix
  • 1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
  • Orange food coloring
  • 1 blue sour gumdrop
  • Twizzler Pull-N-Peel in Watermelon Mania
  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions for baking one 9"x 13" cake using pound-cake variation (add instant pudding and an extra egg). Cool completely.
  2. Using the fish template on this page as a rough guide, cut fish shape from cake.
  3. Tint vanilla frosting orange. Frost entire cake. Place gumdrop on cake for eye. Cut Twizzler to fit cake, and place on top to divide face and body. Trim Twizzler string into strips for tail. Using the back of a spoon, pull frosting away from cake to give body of fish a scaly look. Serves 12.

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Little Fish Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs. corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt

Royal Icing

  • 1 box (1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tbs. powdered egg whites
  • 9 Tbs. water, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Blue, green, orange, and red food coloring
  • Hershey's candy-coated sprinkles
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, with electric mixer on high, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low, and beat in flour and salt until combined. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disk.
  2. Between two sheets of wax paper, roll one disk to ¼" thickness. Remove top sheet of wax paper, invert dough onto baking sheet, and remove wax paper.
  3. On heavy paper, trace fish template. Cut out fish-shaped cookies, 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool completely.
  5. Prepare royal icing: In bowl, with electric mixer on low, beat together all ingredients until combined, reserving 3 Tbs. water. Increase speed to high, and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add reserved 3 Tbs. water to icing to thin it to the consistency of heavy cream. Divide icing among four bowls, and tint each bowl with food coloring. Using fingertip, spread icing over cookies. Place colored candy on some fish for eyes. Let cookies dry completely. To make colored circles, dip bottle cap into icing bowls and randomly dot tops of dried cookies. Makes 3 dozen.

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Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents magazine.

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